What types of properties are covered?
It is often confusing when trying to figure out what types of properties are covered under the EPA’s Lead RRP Rule. It is a very lengthy regulation and simply doesn’t get read by many contractors. To make matters more confusing, people tend to misinterpret what they hear and pass wrong information on to others. Not intentionally of course, but that’s just human nature when passing information down the line. Simply stated, the rule covers two types of properties with the intent to protect children under the age of 6 years old. Target Housing and Child Occupied Facilities. What is clear about the rule is it requires Lead Paint Certification for contractors working in these buildings. Let’s break them down to get a full understanding of each one.
Target housing is housing built on or before December 31, 1977. This includes single family residences, condominiums, and all sizes and varieties of apartments. The rule covers most living facilities with the exception of a few types. It does not include housing for the elderly or individuals that are disable unless a child under the age of 6 will be living there. It also does not include zero bedroom spaces which include dormitories, hospitals, hotels, and studio apartments. The idea again is children under the age of 6 are not expected to be living in these places.
Child Occupied Facilities
Child occupied facilities are pre-1978 buildings just like target housing. However, they are not livable spaces, they are only spaces children under the age of 6 visit on a regular basis. The EPA extended the rule to cover these types of buildings to help protect children from lead poisoning. To meet the definition of a Child Occupied Facility, the following three items must apply:
- The same child under the age of 6 must visit the building on a regular basis.
- The same child must visit the building at least two days per week for at least three hours each day.
- The combined weekly total must be at least six hours and the combined annual total must be at least sixty hours.
By these criteria, you can probable guess that child occupied facilities include elementary schools, pre-schools and day care buildings. Many of these types of facilities may be located in public and commercial buildings. No matter where they are located, as long as they meet these three criteria, they are covered by the rule.
What type of work is covered?
Contractors that disturb lead paint or coated surfaces in these types of properties must follow the rule. What exactly does that mean. Well, if you are using tools to fix, remodel, build, renovate, or something similar, your work will be covered under the rule. The rule is aimed at preventing lead dust contamination in buildings. It really doesn’t matter your profession, it boils down to whether you disturb lead paint. If your work will sand, cut or chip painted surfaces, you must follow safe work procedures to contain and remove any debris you create.
RRP Rule Exclusions
Now for the tricky part. Even if you do work in a property that is covered by the rule, you may fall within one of the exclusions to the rule. That’s right, you may not be required to follow the requirements of the rule. To keep it as easy to understand as possible, we will break down each of the exclusions. The regulation does not apply to renovation work that meets any of the following exclusions:
- The work being done only affect building components that do not contain lead paint. This can easily be identified through testing the painted or coated surfaces using EPA protocol to determine the presence of lead. If no lead is found, your work is excluded from the rule.
- Renovations done by homeowners in their own home. Simply put, it’s hard to tell someone what to do in their own home and the EPA didn’t feel they wanted to take on the challenge. That said, this work is excluded from the rule.
- Your work involves only Minor Repair and Maintenance activity. What is this? Well, there may be times where you do work in these types of properties and you may disturb lead paint, but you still could be excluded from the rule. The EPA believes that only disturbing a small amount of paint won’t generate enough dust to create a hazard to the occupants and visitors of the building. It is important to note that minor repair and maintenance activity does not include window replacement, demolition, or any work activity involving the use of prohibited practices. To understand if the exclusion may apply, lets break down the definition of Minor Repair and Maintenance Activity:
- Interior work that disturbs less than 6 square feet per room. The entire surface of a building component removed is the amount of painted surface disturbed. Please note if HUD’s Lead Safe Housing Rule applies to the property you are working in, the level of paint you are allowed to disturb decreases significantly. The HUD rule applies if the property receives federal housing assistance. If the HUD rule applies, disturbance is limited to less than 2 square feet per room.
- Exterior work that disturbs less than 20 square feet exterior is excluded from the rule. HUD’s level is the same for exterior work.
You should now have a good understanding of how to determine when you need to follow this rule. If your work is covered, you must register your company with the EPA and become a Lead Safe Certified Firm. You must also have employees that have Lead Paint Certification. We have broken down all sections of the rule. Please continue reading the lead RRP Rule Interpretation to get a complete understand of your responsibilities.
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